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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

What factors must an agency consider in making a determination to pay a retention incentive to an individual employee or a group or category of employees likely to leave the Federal service?

An agency must consider the following factors, as applicable in the case at hand, in making a retention incentive determination for an individual employee or a group or category of employees likely to leave the Federal service:

  • Employment trends and labor market factors, such as the availability and quality of candidates in the labor market possessing the competencies required for the position and who, with minimal training, cost, or disruption of service to the public, could perform the full range of duties and responsibilities of the employee’s position at the level performed by the employee;
  • The success of recent efforts to recruit candidates and retain employees with qualifications similar to those possessed by the employee for positions similar to the position held by the employee;
  • Special or unique competencies needed for the position;
  • Agency efforts to use non-pay authorities to help retain the employee instead of or in addition to a retention incentive, such as special training and work scheduling flexibilities or improved working conditions;
  • The desirability of the duties, work or organizational environment, or geographic location of the position;
  • The extent to which the employee’s departure would affect the agency's ability to carry out an activity, perform a function, or complete a project the agency deems essential to its mission;
  • The salaries typically paid outside the Federal Government; and
  • Other supporting factors.

(See 5 CFR 575.306(b) and 575.306(c).)

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